Jay Pharoah Told His Mother About His LAPD Encounter


“There was nothing that could be done.”

In June of last year, Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah revealed that he was stopped by LAPD officers and was cuffed while one of the officers put their knee on his neck.

In a preview of his upcoming appearance on Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch series Peace of Mind With Taraji, Pharaoh opened up about what happened when he told his parents about the incident.

“I called and talked to my mom, she was on the phone,” Pharoah recalled. “Of course my dad was in the background. But my mom was just — I could hear it in her voice. I could hear the shakiness, the ‘what if.'”


Jack Rowand / ABC via Getty Images

“She said, ‘We could have lost you today, had it been different.’ She was like, ‘You really need to thank God.’ I said, ‘I do thank God. But Mom, I’m just mad right now. I’m in a way that I’ve never been mad before. Because I’ve never experienced this.'”

Pharoah described his mother’s reaction as “[feeling] totally helpless” before going on to praise his parents for his upbringing: “Both of them from the hood. But they’ve tried to shelter me in a way where I don’t have to deal with that.”

“And at the end of the day, I dealt with it. There was nothing that could be done. So I know that moment for them had to spark emotion as well.”


Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

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